by Anne Kadet
Uptown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art rules the museum world with its $362 million annual budget and $70 million gift-shop business. Across the park, the sprawling, world-famous American Museum of Natural History collects $47 million a year from its 5 million visitors.
And downtown? At the corner of Mulberry and Grand streets in Little Italy, the two-room Italian American Museum welcomes about 45 visitors a day. Its sole full-time staffer is Massimo, a supersize gray tabby fond of occupying visitors' laps.